Excerpt from Luminarium by Alex Shakar, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Luminarium

A Novel

by Alex Shakar

Luminarium by Alex Shakar
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2011, 432 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2012, 432 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Judy Krueger

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Undo the top two buttons of your shirt, please."

She counted down the ribs from his clavicle with a sticky fingertip, dabbed more gel, and painted a tiny, wet spiral over his heart. Her hair smelled like freshly opened apples and something ineffable - dry ice, he thought - one of those dizzying alchemies of hair product research. From the degree to which she was leaning over him (he counseled himself not to look down her blouse), and the slight squint in her eyes, he thought she must be nearsighted. The wrinkles at the corners suggested she was around his age, mid-thirties. Her nose, though not indelicate, had a slight finlike curve to it, which taken in combination with those dark, peering eyes, gave her the slightly comical look of an inquisitive bird. He wondered how many condemned men, as they were being strapped into electric chairs, had spent their last moments checking out the ladies seated among the witnesses.

She reached up and pressed the helmet onto his head.

"The session will last twenty minutes. All you have to do is sit back and relax. Let's get you reclined. The lever's on the right."

He did as told, window swinging away, ceiling swinging into view.

Directly above, in the firmament of perforated tiles, a poster of a spiral galaxy had been taped. Mira Egghart's upside-down head, like a wayward planetoid, floated into view.

"You probably won't want to, but if you feel you need to stop, just say the word - the helmet has a mic attached. Or if you can't speak, just wave. Please don't handle the helmet yourself."

If I can't speak...

She left the room, switching off the light. The instant she did so the air grew swampy and his skin prickled. These days, Fred didn't like the dark, nor any hint of confinement. He could turn his head only slightly in the helmet, but by keeping his eyes trained down his face, he was able to see Mira now standing in the control room. She leaned forward over the desk, reaching up toward the top of the window, her blouse taut against her breasts and lifting to reveal a glittering stud in her navel as her fingers clasped the pull of a black shade. She brought it down in one quick motion, after which, just above the window, a dim red bulb went on. As best he could with his head immobilized, Fred looked around the room:

Steel trolley.
Jar of gel.
Red bulb.
Blacked-out window.
Galaxy wheeling above.

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from Luminarium by Alex Shakar. Copyright © 2011 by Alex Shakar. Excerpted by permission of Soho Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The "God Helmet"

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Summer Before the War
    by Helen Simonson
    Set on the cusp of World War I, The Summer Before the War exudes strength and spirit as a small town...
  • Book Jacket: Lincoln in the Bardo
    Lincoln in the Bardo
    by George Saunders
    George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo is a philosophy discourse brilliantly disguised as a ...
  • Book Jacket
    Tender
    by Belinda McKeon
    Most of us have heard the slightly trite saying: "If you love something, set it free." But one can ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Sellout
by Paul Beatty

The first book by an American author to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Fifth Petal
    by Brunonia Barry

    Beloved author Brunonia Barry returns to the world of The Lace Reader with this spellbinding new thriller.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    I See You
    by Clare Mackintosh

    A dark and compelling thriller about an everyday woman trapped in the confines of her everyday world.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Your F C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.